tv Magna Carta Ceremony CSPAN August 19, 2015 8:51pm-9:40pm EDT
washington, d.c. where a 1215 copy of the magna carta went on display for the 800th anniversary of the document's creation. king john originally signed the doctrine under pressure from his barons at running mead, england. revolutionaries looked to the rights in the magna carta as they rebelled. princess ann was part of the royal delegation at the opening ceremony. this program runs about 45 minutes. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i'm james billington, the 13th librarian of the congress. it's a great pleasure to zvr&coe you to the library of congress and to this event celebrating the opening of the library's latest exhibition, magna carta, muse and a mentor. i think it is indisputable that the library of congress has a special relationship with magna
carta. we remember, of course, this institution's good fortune to have been called upon to safeguard the lincoln magna carta during world war ii. but as a repository of the accumulated knowledge of human civilization, the library of congress must also be acknowledged to be one of the best assets the united states possesses for participation in magna carta's greatest legacy, the preservation of the rule of law. the library began over two centuries ago as the principle reference collection for legal research, both for the congress and the united states supreme cou court. it continues to offer unparalleled legal resources to all three branches of the united states government as well as to the governments of foreign
states. this mission, the preservation of the rule of law is inscribed in the very walls of the building in which we are standing, the thomas jefferson building, in paintings, mosaics in the ceiling, statues in the reading room. there's a wonderful quote by the englishman richard hooker. "of law there can be no less acknowledged than that her voice is the harmony of the world." today's program embodies the spirit i think embodies that quotation. we'll hear from not only our law librarian of congress, but voices from the field of law, from our guests from the united keng dom and from voices that will sing appropriately enough
about the law. beautiful voices such as we have just heard. it's my great honor to recognize our special guests on the stage. i'd like to recognize her royal highness, the princess royal. i would like to acknowledge also and recognize vice admiral sir tim lawrence, my wife marjory, the most honorably, the marcus of lothian, the right honorable hooper, together they represent legislative and judicial branches of the yund kingdom, also phillip butler, dean of lincoln cathedral, mr. david mao, the law librarian of congress and peter was miss ka, british ambassador to the united
states. also with us here today is sir robert worcester, chairman of the magna carta 800th anniversary celebration committee, the group responsible for coordinating the 800th sen teenry celebrations of the ceiling of magna carta. that delegation from the inner and middle temples is here to represent two of the professional associations of the barristers of england and whales, lord egor judge, lord justice tomlinson, sir anthony hooper and the reverend robin griffith jones. so i welcome you all, and i'm grateful for your participation in today's ceremony. this exhibition was organized by
the library of congress in partnership with lincoln cathedral bringing magna carter to the usa. we are immensely grateful to dean phillip butler pour the loan of lincoln cathedral's 12:15 magna carta to the exhibition. the lincoln magna carta returns to lincoln next year, it will be reunited for a brief commemorative event with the three other copies of magna carta that survived from 1215, two of which are kept by the british library, one of which is kept by salisbury cathedral. the british library will display the four surviving manuscripts for one historic day. it will be the first time they've ever been exhibited together. the lincoln magna carta will then be moved to its permanent residence in a dedicated vault
specially constructed this year as part of the lincoln castle revealed project. you may have noticed that the magna carta has come to the united states a full year ahead of the 800th anniversary. we are thrilled to be able to stage this exhibit leading up to the magna carta commemorations that are already in the works throughout the united kingdom and indeed the world. our exhibition complements the major magna carta exhibit exhibitions planned in the uk for 2015 as it tells the story from a unique american historical point of view. our exhibition focuses on the impact of the interpreted principles of magna carta had of our founding fathers and the
founding documents. it explores magna carta's strong influence on the constitutional law of the united states, and when legal scholars and historians look back on this milestone grand jury, it's the hope that the content of our exhibition will show how one of england's most venerated exports, the magna carta, forged the u.s. british bond of law. i thank you all for joining us today and encourage you to visit the exhibition between now and january 19th. now, if you would please rise for the playing of the national anthems.
♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proud we hail at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o efrmtsr the ramparts we watch were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rocket's red glare, the bomb's bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪
library of congress is custodian to the world's largest legal collection of legal materials, now at over 2.8 mill vun volume. that collection continues to grow every year and includes materials from all jurisdictions all around the world. the exhibition which we're opening to the public today, magna carta, news and mentor, draws many things in the law library construction including medieval manuscripts, early printed works, judicial kigss. the law library is just one of the many collections whose items are represented in the exhibition. the 77 objects in the exhibit are from the variety of library congress divisions including manuscripts, prints and photographs, music, rare books, geography and maps. they've all been brought together to count the narrative of the magna carta's contributions on the constitution of the united states. the items face magna carta's
path on the baron's rebellion in england which gave rise to the charter. through the tumultuous era of the english civil war across the atlantic ocean to the new col y colonies in america and the united states constitution. the lincoln cathedral magna carta which we're extremely fortunate to on loan from england stands on the focus of this exhibition. it occupies a central location that the head of the gallery and is visible as visitors enter the galler galleria, walk through and when they exhibit -- before they commit they will see it once again. this intentional design allows the document to have a double impact on the viewer. the first time set against a backdrop of interpretive materials about medieval england and the conflict between king john and the barons. and the second time illuminated by the subsequent history of magna carta's interpretation over time and its role in the rise of constitutional
government in england and the united states. the exhibition highlights legal principles that find their roots in the 17th century interpretations of magna carta, principles that still resonate very much again with us here today. these include the representative -- the right of representative government, the right to due process of law, right to trial by jury, protection from unlawful imprisonment or the privilege is the writ of habeas corpus and the theory of limited government. to convey a sense of our presentation and the story of magna carta's influence on american liberties to a broader audience, we partner -- the library of congress partnered with the american bar association to put together a traveling exhibit of some of the items we're showing in the ex-bags today. that traveling exhibit will visit many american cities and be displayed at law schools, libraries, courthouses and legal conferences. it will even make a special appearance next year in london
in june. next month on december 9th the library will hold a similymposi on the endearing legacy of the great charter. at that time we'll bring together legal scholars, practitioners of law, members of congress in united states supreme court to talk about magna carta's continuing impact on political thought. it's our thought that symposium will encourage new ideas and avenues of research on the ideas that emerge from magna carta and the tradition that interprets it. i would be very remiss if i did not mention that we are here today because of the initial conversations between my predecessor, robert ter schaeffer and sir robert worcester. three years ago they had a conversation about perhaps bringing magna carta to the library of congress and how the library of congress might be part of the worldwide celebrations of the iconic anniversary. that took hold and blossomed into what we have today. i want to recognize the person
that has been most responsible for managing all of the magna carta commemorative events at the library of commerce, my colleague, robert nuland, thank you for agreeing to take on this task three years ago for your work and dedication in bringing this major project to fruition. i also need to thank my law library colleague nathan dorn standing in the back, spent numerous hours selecting the items, creating the narrative and scripting the content for the exhibit upstairs. this exhibition and events have come together as a cultivation of efforts from multiple divisions across the library of congress and our partners in the united kingdom. the product of many hands, too many to name, but all deserving our gratitude. today the library of congress has once again the honor of being entrusted with the charter that in many ways shaped our modern constitutional government. this exhibition's opening remarks are very significant and
miningful anniversary for the library because 75 years ago this month, the great hall at the thom 45s jefferson building where we are right now, was the site of an interesting episode in the long story of the lincoln cathedral magna carta. i will invite the marcus of lothian to speak about it followed by the very reverent phillip butler, dean of the lincoln cathedral. >> your royal highness, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, 75 years ago in this building, my predecessor phillip lord lothian as british ambassador handed over to library of congress forward time safe keeping the same version of lincoln magna carta that we now welcome here once again. i'm honored to be asked to recall that his tore occasion in today's entrusting ceremony.
swirling around that hand over 75 years ago were the storm clouds of a second world war. the event was about much more than finding this historic document wartime sanctuary. it uniquely underscored the importance of magna carta to the american people. in lothian's words, and i quote, to lie alongside its own descendants, the declaration of american independence and the american constitution. lothian was a strong friend of america and of its president. winston churchill described him to fdr after his death if late 1940 as a high interpreter. he was also a great friend of the librarian archibald macleish. indeed, after lothian's untimely death, macleish accepted on behalf of the library and at the request of his sisters phillip's death mask as a mark of his deep
respect and affection for the library. on that occasion the new british ambassador, lord halifax, spoke of lothian's, and i quote, lifelong association with america and his unshakeable trust in the common sense and judgment of our two peoples. halifax believed that the choice of the library as the permanent resting place for this memorial to lothian was, and i quote again, symbolic of the community of thought that belongs to those who have inherited free institutions and find in these the expression of their own love of freedom. supreme court judge frankfurter, also a close friend spoke, too, of lothian's courage through the dark days of 1914. but it's phillip lothian's own speech at the handover on 28th november, 1939 that best conveys his deep felt sentiments.
he began almost mischievously, why all this fuss and trouble about what he described as a med eve relic. then he gave his answer. the almost self-evident truths it pronounced have echoed through the payables of history, century after century, by individual citizens and subjects, by rebels and conservatives, by parliaments and congresses, as the sufficient ground on which to base their claim for liberty and responsibility. he continued. in its immortal words, we see the nucleus of most of our liberties, the supremacy of law over arbitrary power, the inspiration in which nerved the hands of those who struck the freedom and who built the institutions which secured it. he went on mott the findings of philosophers, but a victory in
the grim struggle of national life for the principles of freedom from which we draw our big. the years from 1939 these words reilluminate the core of the relationship between the peoples of great britain and the unit streets. too often we speak glibly of our shared values, but phillip lothian's simple description enshrines more concisely than anything else, the beating heart of the real bond between us. so in our time, as the dark shadows of violence and oppression is thrust yet again upon our world, may this magna carta once more light in each of us the inspiration to reach for the sun lit uplands of peace, liberty and justice which must surely be our common goal. thank you very much.
[ applause ] your royal highness, mr. librarian, mr. ambassador, distinguished guests, it is my pleasure to be able to bring lincoln cathedral's magna carta to washington for this magnificent exhibition. this document has been in the possession of lincoln cathedral since late june 1215. and in recent times there's been exhibited at home and abroad to inspire debate and reflection upon both our history and our future. today's exhibition is doing just that, and i'm grateful to the law library of congress for such an opportunity. but i do want also to express further gratitude to the library and to the american people for
looking after our magna carta during those dark years of the second world war. today it returns in happier times though the threat of terrorism and fanaticism means it still has work to do in reminding us of the principles of freedom and justice that lie at the heart of our two nations. so it is with great delight that i echo the words first spoken in this hall 75 years ago. mr. librarian, i have the greatest pleasure in entrusting magna carta to your benevolent care. and now i have a key symbolizing the cabinet in which magna carta is held, and i would invite lord
the river thames lies the 12th isn'try temple church. she sits within the precincts of two of the four ends of court, the middle temple and the inner temple. the ins play a vital role in the promotion of the independent bar. in 1214 to 1215 the area now occupied by the two ins was the headquarters of king john who on june the 15th 2015 -- 1215 agreed very reluctantly to the terms of the magna carta. at the heart of the life of the temple is the temple church
choir. the choir will now sing both in latin and english clauses 39 to 40 of magna carta. these clauses, together with others, guarantee what we today call the rule of law. central to the rule of law is the fundamental principle that no one is above the law. this principle depends for its effectiveness upon an independent legal profession and an independent and impartial judiciary. in clause 39, the king promised not to take coercive measures against a person, quote, except
by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. in clause 40, the king promised that, quote, to no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice. the words of the anthem that you are about to hear have been set to music by the american composer niko mieuli. the temple church commissioned him to write this music to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the ceiling of magna carta. you will now hear the fourth and last movement, but if you wish to hear all four movements, which i'm sure you all do, then please come to the temple church
on december 18th this year to a concert which will be broadcast by the bbc as part of the temple church winter festival. as we listen to the music in these so beautiful and historic surroundings, please let us remember that there are all over the world many modern king johns who deny or would deny us the rule of law. and let us also remember in this period of remembrance those who died so that we could live under the rule of law. the choir.
[ applause ] >> thank you. that was beautiful. we are very honored to welcome her royal highness for the opening of our exhibition. she's here in her capacity as of the royal temple, professional association of barristers that dates to the 14th century. she's recently agreed to be the patron of the inner temple's book prize 2015 which is a major international prize for outstanding author ship to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the ceiling of magna carta. so we are very delighted she has joined us as part of the many, many magna carta celebrations that will benefit from her involvement next year. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming her royal highness, the princess royal.
>> can i say what a pleasure it is to join you. it's very nice to be back in washington, but joining you at this very remarkable event celebrating the magna carta and the muse and mentor exhibition. as a clarification, as a royal bencher, i just want you to know that i'm not a professional lawyer and barrister in that sense. i am purely honorary. just make that point in case you ask me any awkward questions. but i'm delighted to be here. the ins -- in a temple, middle temple have been a really important part of the history of the freedom of law in england and britain and reflect very
much where magna carta has come from, was hugely involved in it. we're delighted to be here as a group. but we're particularly pleased that the library of congress has been so supportive and so interested in celebrating the 800th anniversary of magna ca a carta. my i just add my congratulations and thanks to the library of congress for their involvement, for their diligence, for their enthusiasm in the way they have supported and the way they have put on this exhibition. we really are extremely grateful. in case you're wondering, we could have been a lot later turning up for their ceremony. there's a huge amount to distract in the exhibition. i hope all of you will take little more time to go around the exhibition to see the context and what happened after magna carta and the links it has created here in america.
and those shared values and where magna carta makes those jones. this exhibition is really important. i have to say that it's timely because we take so much for granted in terms of our freedoms and our expectations of freedoms and independence. an jersryes such as this really are reminders how far we have come in safeguarding our liberties. nearly 800 years ago magna carta gave us our first concept of a society governed by the rule of law, a major step. we can remind ourselves of how difficult that has been to maintain that integrity of the rule of law. i think anniversaries are an opportunity to look forward to what will be happening in maybe 100 or 200 years.
we'll still be celebrating magna carta as it reaches those milestones and its relevance in that time and ensuring that the rule of law remains a value concept in the future. it is imperative for us to instill these values, this understanding in the next generation. and it is, therefore, that this exhibition is a really good starting point as it links with the future and particularly in educating the next generations. education, therefore, is a distinct focus for the 800th anniversary commemorations. schools and other organizations around the world will provide students not only with a chance to study the historical facts of magna carta, but will offer them opportunities to relate its principles to contemporary life and here i'm relieved to note
that we are very much -- we have a very good starting point because we are in terms of countries, our perennial top choice for overseas study. every year around 50,000 americans study in the yund kingdom and around 10,000 british students come to study in the united states. i might also mention that between us we have all of the top ten and all but three of the top 20 universities in the world according to the latest international rankings. and some educational programs planned for the anniversary include an international essay contest for 11 to 18-year-olds, a youth symposium for 16 to 25-year-olds on democracy, justice, freedom and liberty and a moot court contest for
university students. i'd like to sit in on that one. law schools scholarships will be offered and countless free lectures both in person and online will enrich students' understanding of this foundation document. it mentions here online maybe that's the biggest challenge to magna carta and the interpretation of the rule of law in the future and something that everybody will have to grapple with in its interpretation and how it is used. there is much to look forward to but there is a very good reason for looking back to magna carta and understanding the principles which have guided us over those centuries. so it was one of the two royal benches in the temple, the other being my father, may i congratulate you on mounting
this exhibition and thank you for raising magna carta before next year and in united kingdom's terms to help us mark the year that is ahead and the debates that will come with our celebrations of the 800th anniversary of magna carta. i hope some of you will consider joining us next year for those celebrations, but i hope an awful lot of you will take advantage of the exhibition that is here in the library of congress to learn a great deal more and to celebrate the real values of the freedoms and the independence that the rule of law can give us all. thank you. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much. that was beautiful. at this time i would like to thank great benefactors of the members of congress, the foundation. an effort like this could not have been achieved without the federal society for law and public society studies, first financial bank, usa, friends of the library of congress, bp ameri america, the lynn and bradley foundation. the law firm of white and case llp and the burton foundation for legal achievement. we also hear at the library recognize contributions received through the friends of the law library from thompson reuters, william s. line and company incorporated, raytheon, the
british council. the complete list of all of our generous sponsors is included in your program. i invite you to please read through all the names. at this time i will conclude the program and just remind everyone that the exhibition is open now through january 19th of next year, 2015. it's a very special day. that's martin luther king junior day here in united states. i hope you'll come many, many times to come see the exhibition. i would ask you to please remain in place while the official delegation exits the hall. thank you very much. [ applause ] ♪
with the senate in its august break, we'll feature "book tv" programming weeknights in prime time on c-span2 starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. for the weekends, here are a few "book tv" special programs. today we're live from jackson, mississippi, for the inaugural mississippi book festival beginning at 11:30 a.m. eastern with discussions on harper lee, civil rights and the civil war. on saturday, september 5th, we're live from our nation's capital for the 15th annual national book festival, followed on sunday with our live in depth program with former second lady and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute, lynne cheney. "book tv" on c-span2, television for serious readers. coming up next, several law professors explore the origins of the magna carta and the influence of the british document on the creation of the american bill of rights. the professor spoke at the
library of congress where a 12:15 copy of the magna carta is temporarily on display. king john originally signed the document under pressure from his barons at runny meade, england. american revolutionaries looks to the rights guaranteed by the magna carta as they rebelled against the english crown. this is 90 minutes. >> good morning. i propose to cover three things in my brief opening remarks this morning. why me? why now? why are you here? magna carta's relevance today. from an early age growing up in america, it was good king john the lion heart, bad king john lachlan and robin hood and his merry men, not to forget maid mir yen, littlejohn, fryer tuck,